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Rdutch

300lb hma if you have this please read

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Yesterday, we had a very close call with a very talented swooper. His canopy opened just fine, but after his turn and his canopy was planing out at around 30 feet, 3 (A) lines broke, slamming him into the ground. Luck prevailed and he survived, after spending the night in hospital. He has a fracture in his back, and more tests are being done to determine the severity of his injuries.


300lb Hma is great for swooping, and competition.
This is not an everyday use line. If you have this line on your canopy then you shouldn't use your canopy for work jumping, 4way or freefly team training, or anything where you plan on puttig a lot of jumps on your canopy. First off its expensive, and second it doesnt last very long. When I quit swooping and started doing 4way, I had my canopies relined with 500lb hma and vectran. Before when I was swooping I had numerous malfunctions with 300lb Hma due to line breaks. Some with very few jumps on the lineset. I did have a set of 300lb hma last for over 500 jumps. BUt I also had a set break after 40. The problem is you never know when it is going to break.

If you do jump 300lb Hma:

If there is any sign of wear on your lineset reline your canopy. You dont want to squeeze every jump out of it like you can with vectran, or larger size hma.

Once you open stow or remove your slider immediately. Make your slider your first thing when you open. Your slider flapping wears down your lines very rapidly. Most line breaks on 300 lb hma happpen at the bottom of the lines.

If you get your canopy wet, be carefull not to get it dirty, and if so clean your lines, dirt can wear out a linestet very fast.

Inspect your lineset regularly.

The performance you gain with 300 lb hma is noticable, and very fun to fly. Just make sure you take extra care with them, and replace them before they wear out. Line breaks dont always happen on opening, and the worst place you want a line break is in the middle of your turn. Canopies generate a lot of tension during the turn and dive phase of your landing.

Be carefull out there. We were very lucky yesterday, hopefully we wont see this happen again.


(side note) some brands of HMA have been shown to get a lot more jumps on them than others. the 150 jump rule doesnt apply to all line sets. Find out from the manufacturer what they determine to be the life of their linesets. With 550 and 750 lb linesets it is possible to get a lot more jumps than the manufacturers reccomended life. WIth 300 lb HMA dont push it, change your linesets as soon as they reach their replacement time.


Ray
Small and fast what every girl dreams of!

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Sorry to hear what happened,

I have the blue HMA on my rig right now.

what supplier/rigger supplied the lines in question?
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will see peace." - 'Jimi' Hendrix

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Sorry to hear what happened,

I have the blue HMA on my rig right now.

what supplier/rigger supplied the lines in question?



Im not sure about what 300lb hma he was jumping, Im pretty sure it wasnt the blue hma. The mainpoint is not to exceed the reccomended number of jumps on your lineset, with the 300 lb lines. I talked to his wife, and she said he had around 150 jumps on the lines. I havent heard of this ever happening before yesterday. But now we know that line breaks arent limited only to opening.


Ray
Small and fast what every girl dreams of!

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Dutch,
Where are you geting the 300 lb number from?

PD?
I keep hearing that number , but CSR makes the 350 lb as standard. I know PD uses the same stuff that we do except theirs is uncoated.

Most competition line sets are 350 lb, although we do build some for "special" people with the 280 stuff.

It is imperative to know exactly what line material that you have installed.

The difference between line life of the 280 lb and the 350 lb is a lot.
280 (uncoated)= 150-200 max jumps
350 (UV coated) = 600-800 max jumps

We have seen greater numbers than the above, but it is not recommended.

Other fators play into line life:

1. Line stows - should be only 3/4" beyond the rubber band. Any longer could result in tension knots that have been known to cut though complete line groups.
The rubber band should be of a small diameter and only one wrap. This helps prevent wear at the rubber band between the lines.

2. RDS rings- Should be inspected daily for dings and sharp edges.

Also do not allow the rings to pinch or damage a line when laying the canopy down. I have seen people throw the canopy down and the rings just go "clanking " together with lines in between them.

Remember, the same little nick on a standard size line is just that; a nick!

On these smaller sized lines, it could be the same as cut half-way though the line...

3. UV coatings- no matter what anyonse else says, UV coating is key to long life of these smaller lines.
"The proof is in the pudding" so to speak.

Cheers,
MEL
Skyworks Parachute Service, LLC
www.Skyworksparachuteservice.com

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UV coatings- no matter what anyonse else says, UV coating is key to long life of these smaller lines.
"The proof is in the pudding" so to speak.



is there any difference between the black and blue coatings? these are the only ones i have seen so far.
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will see peace." - 'Jimi' Hendrix

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I am not sure what chemical makeup CSR (line manufacturer) uses for the black.... And if any UV stuff is used or not.

The Blue has a definite UV inhibitor makeup.

keeping the lines out of the sun as much as possible helps too.

Cheers,
MEL

edited to correct my flipping spelling errors!!!
Skyworks Parachute Service, LLC
www.Skyworksparachuteservice.com

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Hi Mel

I have contrary experience with the 'Blue coated' 350HMA lines.

over four linesets on the same size canopy (nine cell lineset) I consistently got the same lifespan with noncoated and coated lines. this may be a unique experience but the lines all broke or showed imminent signs of breaking right at or around 450jumps. This was from the same supplier make and weave of line. the only variable was the coating and that the first non coated lineset got wet twice the same day at around 150jumps.

The coated verses non coated linesets were alternated ie 1st-non coated 2nd coated 3rd noncoated 4th coated.

so my natural assumption was that with consistent inspection and similar conditions there was no apparent increase in jump numbers of the coated verses non coated.

This is not conclusive by any means as there is not sufficient jump numbers to make anything but a correlation.

let me know your thoughts

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Paul,
I see more broken lines on non-coated from my end of things.

1.Teijin (Technora) manufacturer states that the Armid is UV sensitive.

2. The thinner the line, the more prone to breakage, damage and so forth due to UV damage.

3. We have several jumpers seeing greater than the posted numbers.

4.Usually lower numbers are seen by people that do not take very good care of their canopies.

5. There are now several different RDS rings and systems out there. The rings play a vital role in line life. They must have a larger radius to mimick a SS grommet. This lowers line wear greatly.

I just removed a set of Rings from a very well known competitor who had the worst manufactured rings I have seen to date. The edges were not rounded very much and the lines need to be replaced now after only 150 or so jumps.

Just for reference, line life on a non-removable slider vs a removable one generally goes though the roof when compared to one another.

By stating "9-cell" canopies, I am assuming that you were under a NZ canopy???

I am positive that given the same variables, the coated material goes further.

On a side note, I wish we did not have to coat the smaller stuff. It takes way more time and effort to make a line set that is coated than one that is not coated!

At the end of it all, ask around and see what people are getting with their line sets.

Cheers,
MEL
Skyworks Parachute Service, LLC
www.Skyworksparachuteservice.com

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Just for reference, line life on a non-removable slider vs a removable one generally goes though the roof when compared to one another.


Please explain this saying to a nonnative speaker. Which one is longer?
Line life with an rds or with a regular slider?

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There are now several different RDS rings and systems out there. The rings play a vital role in line life. They must have a larger radius to mimick a SS grommet. This lowers line wear greatly.

I am positive that given the same variables, the coated material goes further.



that is why I like my paraconcepts rds with the normal grommets. Yes, bulky but I get the impression is is easier on lines. that being said, I just had a spinning mal on my 85jvx and busted 4 A lines. The lines all broke at the same length so it was due to a tension knot.

Some good tips on line bite length and rubber band tightness - I think I was getting a little sloppy....

R

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busted 4 A lines. The lines all broke at the same length so it was due to a tension knot.



Did you discover a knot when you found the canopy? Otherwise, I dont think that conclusion should automatically follow... On old blue VX with blue lines and MEL's RDS - remember that blue vx? :) - I also broke 4 lines, all at same length. No tension knots, i think it was at cascades/finger traps - the heavy wear area, isnt it?

I agree that RDS machined slider rings do wear the lines quicker and that the old teflon base slider rings on PC RDS are smoother. Also, I went 400 jumps with blue lines with a stock slider and they were still in great condition. The ones that broke had may be 200-250 on them... with RDS.

To OP and everyone else posted here: Some very good points in this thread! Thank you. It was a good reminder, but a bad way to be reminded though... i hope for his quick recovery.

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I agree that RDS machined slider rings do wear the lines quicker and that the old teflon base slider rings on PC RDS are smoother.



I agree that the stainless version Para Conceps was using probably wore the lines a bit more than the origional teflon ones.

I just hooked up a set of the new ones Para Concepts is using... Kirk is a nut when it comes to only putting the best thing he can find out there. These things are considerably thicker than the stainless ones but about half the weight. They spend like 40 hours in this new polishing machine he bought getting all the rough edges smoothed out. I'm diggin them. :ph34r:

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remember that blue vx?
yes, I never cut away that canopy!

no, did not break near the cascades.

next reline I am going to think about MELs blue line or (because of this incident) larger diameter HMA/Vectran.

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hi Mel

like i said my experience maybe unique.

I do have a few points i want to contend tho

1) .Teijin (Technora) manufacturer states that the Armid is UV sensitive.

i believe the blue line i had and that you supplied at the time, were the same and from the same manufacturer. no variable there. as per my discussion with NZ aerosports and joe B.

2) The thinner the line the more prone to breakage etc...

I agree didnot dispute this and like i said i believe we were using the same line

3) We have several jumpers seeing greater than the posted numbers.

I dont dispute this

4)Usually lower numbers are seen by people that do not take very good care of their canopies.

Absolutely however I take exceptional care of my lines and inspect them minutely on every jump. so I dont blame this for the life span i encountered. I did however get the same life span on the first non coated lineset despite it getting wet twice and in sandy conditions.

5)There are now several different RDS rings and systems out there. The rings play a vital role in line life. They must have a larger radius to mimick a SS grommet. This lowers line wear greatly.

the four linesets used the exact same set of rings and again i pay particular attention to my rings also. This may have been a factor but unlikely as the grommets were standard SS gromets from paraconcepts.


Like i said i agree in principle that the coated lines should and generally do go longer but this is just not my experience.

having asked around to most of the competitors i know for probably the last four years i generally find that there is a much larger percentage of people who replace the 350HMA much sooner on a seven cell lineset than those who jumped the ninecell linesets.

we all agree there are many variables and if not taken seriously it could cost you dearly so pay close attention to the wear on your lines period.

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So what do we do now?
What are the consequences of the incident?
No more HMA300 anymore?
If the lineset of the incident just had 150 jumps on it, (or even just 150 hop´n´pops?), and nothing else happened to the lines that might have weakened them, this kind of incident can happen to everyone of us one every jump, right?
I´m longing for more detailed information about the lineset of the incident, type of canopy, loading, type of jumps, additional informations that might be important, maybe we can find a possible reason why this happened?!
I know that Marat was putting terminal jumps on one of his working canopies with HMA300 for test reasons till a line finally broke early this year. If I remember correct it was on a Velocity90, loaded 2.7 and the lines lasted for a bit more than 400 jumps.
I always thought I´d be on the safe side if I replace my lines every 200-300 jumps.
This is taking into account that almost all jumps on those linesets are hop´n´pops with full rds.
Does this still holds true?
I got HMA300 on two of my canopies, the older lineset has ~150jumps on it right now, out of those just 10 terminal openings, the lines still look pretty good....

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Honestly, I would steer clear of speculation at this point.

Right now only the jumper in question, and the manufacturer know the actual details about the number of jumps in question. I also believe we'll see some sort of official response when the facts are gathered.

So, until then, I'm going to lock this thread.

Blues,
Ian
Performance Designs Factory Team

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As promised the thread has been re-opened since we have an official statement from the parties involved.

I had been in contact with the company and knew we were going to be getting an official response. I wanted to ensure the thread didn't become derailed with additional misinformation and speculation while the response was being compiled.

Now that the facts are out the discussion can continue.

Blues,
Ian
Performance Designs Factory Team

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There has been some amount of misinformation and speculation in this thread, so with this post we hope to clarify a few things. We have waited to post the reply to allow us time to look at the canopy & lines and speak to people before posting.
We are grateful to dropzone.com moderators for allowing us to add this post to the thread, as we feel it contains good information for the high performance pilots that frequently read this forum.

Below you will find facts and observations from John LeBlanc, PD's VP and chief designer. They address a recent incident at Skydive DeLand, involving an in-flight failure of 300 HMA suspension lines on a Velocity.
Bit of a long read, as John has a lot of information to share, but we have set this up in a bullet format for easy reading.

1. Two lines failed (not three). The center A lines failed near the fingertrap at the lower end of the lines, where the end of the fingertrapped line terminates inside. The line was PD's current 300 lbs HMA line, which is made available on a limited basis to competitive canopy pilots.
2. The two lines separated just after the canopy pulled out into level flight on rear risers, after a 630 degree front riser turn was made. The jumper lost control of the canopy once the lines separated.
3. PD recommends that jumpers using 300 HMA replace lines every 100 to 150 jumps (150 at the most). This particular line set had between 250 and 300 jumps on them, something we STRONGLY discourage. The lines were worn to the point that they really did not look airworthy.
4. This jumper has previously been known to continue jumping with PD's 300 lbs HMA until the lines break. His last 300 HMA line set went over 400 jumps before he broke several lines. Whilst PD did not specifically request this of him, we did appreciated the feedback as it helped us gain confidence in our 100-150 jump recommendation. However, in light of this accident, we consider this an unsafe practice and again request that jumpers using 300 HMA reline their canopies at or near the 100 jumps mark.
5. It should also be noted that a hard opening may very well cause these lines to fail on opening at far fewer jumps than 100. It is primarily meant for competitive swoopers to make practice and competition jumps. 300 HMA is NOT a suspension line suitable for everyday use.
6. Due to the typically soft openings on a Velocity, we now see that it is possible to have worn lines receive a higher load in flight than they may have received during repeated openings.
7. Many of MEL's comments about our 300 HMA suspension lines are incorrect. The supplier mentioned (CSR) does not manufacture any HMA line for PD. The information about our suppliers for that line is proprietary and will not be disclosed.
8. To address MEL's comment about the 300 line being a 350 line: It is important to understand that the advertised RATING of a line is not the same as BREAKING STRENGTH of a line. Each line manufacturer sells their line with a rated strength, met by a process that may have some variation from time to time. In other words, they apply a safety factor below the breaking strength to arrive at their rated strength, to allow for minor variation from one lot of another. How much of a safety factor is actually applied does vary from one supplier to another, so arguing whether it is 300 or 350 is a bit of a moot point.
9. MEL appears to claim that his "blue coated HMA line" is superior due to that treatment offering better UV protection. We believe, based on extensive testing of many lines and line coatings, that this is not a significant factor in strength or wear resistance. In short, we disagree with MEL that UV degradation is a relevant factor when it comes to HMA line sets used in competition swooping canopies, since the the time that the line is exposed to UV is so short. Compared to the abrasion the line receives from slider grommets and other factors, there is certainly not enough exposure to sunlight to make it relevant for HMA. Zylon is the only type of fiber that would need such care and that line (to the best of our knowledge) is only used in space recovery systems. Zylon simply falls apart after a short exposure to sunlight.

Conclusion.
The important thing for us ALL to learn from this incident is that the typically LOW opening shocks of modern parachute designs, combined with the HIGH G forces possible in flight, now mean that it IS possible to create high enough loads on worn lines THAT THEY CAN FAIL IN FLIGHT, even after having survived a “normal” opening. We believe this applies to any worn line regardless of the type or strength.

This is actually the second time we have heard of an in flight line failure. The first time was several years back when another cross braced canopy, manufactured by another company, had a control line fail during a landing, injuring the jumper in the process. This canopy was equipped with standard factory Vectran line set that had been heavily worn. It failed at the brake locking loop when the jumper was flaring of a swoop for landing.

The solution to this is to properly maintain your gear. We believe that the common belief that we structurally test our canopies on opening, we can just "jump it until it breaks" is no longer a viable idea, keeping in mind the slower opening canopies of today and the flight loads they can generate. This applies regardless of the type of line used and it's strength when new. So lets maintain our gear!

Kolla Kolbeinsdottir
Performance Designs, Inc
Sponsorship & Marketing Operations
Blue Skies Magazine

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100 jumps seems a little over cautious to me,

I would tend to go with Mels more realistic values.

But that is just my opinion.
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will see peace." - 'Jimi' Hendrix

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100 jumps seems a little over cautious to me



My life, to me, is worth more than a little caution. YMMV. PD has done tens of thousands of test jumps (amongst different test jumpers over MANY years) - I put a lot of stock in that.

Personally, I replace my lines (300hma) every 100-120 jumps.

When I had a vectran set, I'd replace my lower control lines every 200 jumps, no matter what.

If you want the nice toys, you have to pay the maintenance price. That said, if you're not competing, I don't understand why some people bother with getting the ultra thin line. When I stop competing, I'm going back to 500 HMA.

Oh, and btw, I've seen Mels lines break with less than 100 jumps on them too, more than once. Thin line = high maintenance, no matter who you get it from.

Blues,
Ian
Performance Designs Factory Team

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Oh, and btw, I've seen Mels lines break with less than 100 jumps on them too, more than once.



Then how does a 100 jump limit help resolve that problem.

We have to be realistic here, these lines could break on the first jump if they are damaged a little during the reline or a really hard opening occurs.

Many people have put hundreds of jumps on these lines. When 1 person has an incident due to jumping lines that are obviously (according to the above post) badly worn, we should all change our lines that have been really well looked after and are in good condition, after 100 jumps?

That does not sound reasonable to me, 200-300 maybe, but 100 jumps is OTT.

After scanning this thread a few times I can't see where the wingloading of the guy whos lines broke is mentioned. This information would be greatly appreciated if anyone knows.
"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will see peace." - 'Jimi' Hendrix

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These are just recommendations. You DON'T have to follow them. In fact, you're more then welcome to keep jumping your lines until they break. Do let us know the outcome and the jump numbers though. ;)

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Then how does a 100 jump limit help resolve that problem.



It doesn't, but the simplist answer is: If you can't afford to do 'safe' maintenence then get a higher rated line type.

Quote

Many people have put hundreds of jumps on these lines. When 1 person has an incident due to jumping lines that are obviously (according to the above post) badly worn, we should all change our lines that have been really well looked after and are in good condition, after 100 jumps?



It goes back to your own risk analysis. If you're willing to take the risks, then jump them as much, or as little, as you'd like. No-one is saying you HAVE to change them at x jumps - they are saying that extensive testing shows the lines most likely to break after x number of jumps.

I could see you pushing 200 jumps out of a set. To me, 300 is really far far too much and really into a danger zone for breakage.

Quote

After scanning this thread a few times I can't see where the wingloading of the guy whos lines broke is mentioned. This information would be greatly appreciated if anyone knows.



I believe it's around 2.7

Blues,
Ian
Performance Designs Factory Team

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